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Mantis

mantis

Mantis: Photo credit: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/photos/praying-mantis-on-a-tree-branch/

The mantis is often called the praying mantis due to the predatory position of its forelimbs. Because they are green or brown color, the mantis becomes camouflaged on vegetation. Their ability to remain motionless for long periods of time also makes them difficult to see. You will have a good chance to find them in vegetable or flower gardens where insecticides are not applied. Their spiked forelimbs exhibit tremendous speed when striking out to grasp insect prey that commonly include flies, grasshoppers, moths and crickets. The female typically eats the male mantis during copulation. Their two large widely spaced compound eyes provide them with excellent stereoscopic vision up to 50 feet away. They also have three additional simple eyes located between the large eyes. Their heads can swivel approximately 180 degrees. A mantis nymph will molt its exoskeleton several times as it grows. Most species develop wings after their final molt. Their lifespan is short, less than 15 months; and they typically die in areas where the winters are cold. To view excellent photos of the mantis, visit http://www.inspirationgreen.com/praying-mantis.html.